CYCLING star Jermyn Prado and her Navy national teammates are on standby for enhanced community quarantine duty as the Tokyo 2020 campaigns of four taekwondo jins remained stalled amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William Ramirez, meanwhile, said he is relieved that no athlete, coach or PSC personnel has contracted the new coronavirus during the first week of Malacanang’s enforcement of the quarantine.
Road Coach Reinhardt Gorantes told the BusinessMirror on Tuesday that the national riders from the Navy, including himself, were ordered to report to the nearest Naval facility from their homes—at 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. everyday.
“Headquarters have recalled all of us on the team and are on standby,” Gorantes said. “And the Navy men and women on the team are aware of their duty in the event that they are called to the frontlines.”
Gorantes coaches the national riders for the Standard Insurance team whose members are enlisted in the Navy, including Prado, the 30th Southeast Asian Games women’s individual time trial gold medalist.
“My duty as national athlete stops in these kind of crisis. We are all aware of the situation and we know that anytime we will be called to duty for countrymen,” Prado said.
Prado is assigned at the Bonifacio Naval Station in Taguig, while Gorantes and longtime national team member Jan Paul Morales are tasked to report to the Phil Fleet in Sangley Point, Cavite.
Former Le Tour de Filipinas champion El Joshua Cariño and John Mark Camingao are assigned at the Naval Base Cavite, while Ronald Lomotos and Junrey Navarra are at the Naval Instillation Command-Bonifacio Naval Station.
Gorantes said that with the prevailing red alert in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, national athletes who are also enlisted personnel are all on standby status.
“We are at the third layer [of defense] during these enhanced community quarantine. In the event that the first and second layers contract the virus, we will be manning the frontline,” Gorantes said.
PSC: SAFETY, HEALTH PRIORITY
PHILIPPINE Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William Ramirez reiterated the agency continues to prioritize the safety and health of athletes, coaches and stakeholders.
“We are on lockdown, but we try our best to keep updated of our athletes’ and employees’ status,” Ramirez said. “And I am thankful that no athlete, coach or employee has reported positive of the Covid-19. We hope it stays that way.”
The PSC is running a “virtual office” to check on national team members and operations at its facilities.
Ramirez said national athletes have been training within the confines of their homes.
JINS TRAIN AT HOME
FOUR Tokyo Olympics hopefuls in taekwondo could only wait for the turn of events as they continue training at home because of the enhanced community quarantine.
Hoping to qualify for Tokyo 2020—which teeters on whether or not to open on July 29—are 30th Southeast Asian Games gold medalists Pauline Lopez, Kurt Barbosa, Samuel Morrison and Arven Alcantara and Rio 2016 campaigner Kirstie Elaine Alora. They are all confined to their homes.
Philippine Taekwondo Association Regional Affairs Chief Stephen Fernandez said on Monday that the five jins are keeping to their respective regimen as they prepare for the qualifying tournaments for Tokyo 2020.
“[Team] training was canceled since last week, but for sure they have their own preparations to keep themselves sharp,” said Fernandez, a Barcelona 1992 bronze medalist when taekwondo was introduced to the Olympics as a demonstration.
The Asian championships set for this month in Lebanon was postponed until further notice, while the Asian qualifying tournament in China on April 10 and 11 was also suspended.
The Olympic qualifying tournament are from June 5 to 7 in Amman but that also remains doubtful as Jordan has been impacted by the virus and imposed a lockdown.
Date: March 24, 2020 | By: Ramon Bonilla | Newspaper: Business Mirror | Source: https://businessmirror.com.ph/2020/03/24/prado-and-co-on-standby/